2002

Re: How about "Hamlet! The Musical"

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2141  Monday, 28 October 2002

From:           Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 26 Oct 2002 04:23:21 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 13.2109 Re: How about "Hamlet! The Musical"
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2109 Re: How about "Hamlet! The Musical"

D. Bloom writes,

>Actually, I've just finished a musical version of Hamlet. It's called
>*Less than Kind* and will be opening as soon as I get sufficient >backing(contributions welcome). I've had to make a few minor >adaptations of Shakespeare's original text, of course. Hamlet survives >the sword fight and is to marry Ophelia (who didn't die but merely >pretended in order to test the sincerity of Hamlet's love). Claudius is >killed by Laertes when the former, realizing that his plot has failed, >attempts to stab Hamlet
>in the back. Polonius, who was also only pretending to be dead, will
>marry the widowed Queen Mother. I know the purists will condemn these
>changes but the requirements of musical theatre in the era of Lloyd
>Webber make them necessary.
>
>A number of the songs are, I believe, sure fire hits. "Get Thee to a
>Nunnery" is a lilting waltz to which not only Hamlet and Ophelia, but
>Claudius and Polonius dance. "Convocation of Worms" has a catchy rock
>back-beat. "Rogue and Peasant Slave" is done as rap. Besides Hamlet's
>numbers, Ophelia has the lyrical "Noble Mind," Gertrude the haunting
>"Dead Men's Finger's," Polonius the sidesplitting "A Foolish Figure,"
>and Laertes the serio-comic "Chaste Treasure." Aside from his duet with
>the lead on "Convocation," Claudius sings the toe-tapping  "So Much for
>Him" and his agonized "My Words Fly Up."
>
>What I'm proudest of, though, are the lavish production numbers: >"Murder Most Foul" with a softshoe duet of Hamlet and Ghost joined by >the guards and Horatio; "Miching Mallecho" with tap, jazz and ballet; >and the grand finale, "Purposes Mistook."
>
>I confidently expect this show to make me a millionaire as soon as I >get it staged.

D. Bloom is OFF da Lily, as surely ye jest/joust, Sir!

Bill Arnold
 http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

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Barbican

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2140  Monday, 28 October 2002

From:           R.A. Cantrell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 25 Oct 2002 11:00:32 -0500
Subject:        Barbican

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

I have recently seen mention of the print shop of John Trundle "located
in the Barbican, at the sign of No-Body." Was the barbican district
analogous to Paul's churchyard as a center of activity in Elizabethan
London? Where can I find scholarship that discusses these and other such
centers of poplar activities?

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Re: More about "Julius Caesar"

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2138  Monday, 28 October 2002

From:           L. Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 25 Oct 2002 09:56:32 -0500
Subject: 13.2121 Re: More about "Julius Caesar"
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2121 Re: More about "Julius Caesar"

To L. Swilley's

"The effect on the audience is one dimension; the consistency of the
argument (that well might - and should - manipulate the audience) is
another - unless we are to conceive of the audience itself as a
character in the play and a factor in the argument of it (But is that
what Mr. Stetner intends us to understand?)."

Clifford Stettner responds,

>Many would argue (though not I) with the proposition that a play is "is"
>an argument however sophisticated and that characters are merely ideas
>employed in it. But at the least, the conflict that makes any drama
>necessarily implies an argument. If JC is an argument, I would
>paraphrase it as one that historical actions are utterly empty of moral
>value until it is assigned to them by writers whose representations
>achieve canonicity.

 [Sorry. My mistake. I use the term "argument" here to refer to the
*plot* or the cause-and-result sequence of actions in a play or story.]

>Shakespeare chose this
>historical context because his culture had not accepted a single view
>either applauding the assassination as a heroic attempt to liberate Rome
>from tyranny or an ignominious sacrilegious regicide. He also chose it
>because this question goes to the heart of contemporary conflicts over
>divine right. And finally because this particular ambiguous event turned
>the entire course of European history.

[Unless we have some record of Shakespeare's intentions apart from the
work itself, I don't know how we can determine with any precision WHY
Shakespeare chose anything whatever.]

>I'm not sure I understand the distinction you're making here, but the
>audience is certainly a character in any play. But Shakespeare makes a
>point of dragging the audience onto the stage. What else is the
>Mousetrap about or the numerous other plays within Shakespeare's plays?
>What else is Christopher Sly about?

[We must distinguish an "audience" that is on the stage and therefore a
character in the plot of the play, from the *audience* that witnesses
the whole play with its internal "audience".  The *audience* cannot be
part of the play *as character* unless the playwright surrenders his
control of the plot to each of the many-minded group that watches his
play and intends that each "reading" given by each member of the
*audience* is to become, itself, a factor to be incorporated into the
work, each separate "reading" to be a proper gloss on each of the play's
events, and that gloss to be understood by all who view this growing
calculus.  This is utterly impossible. (In those silly "performances"
where one or more audience members are drawn onto the stage, the members
immediately become part of some "plot" which the performer hopes to
blend into the "action" he is performing. In these cases, the audience
members drawn into the "plot" have become both actors and *audience* in
a loosely constructed "play", each performance of which is, by
consequence of unknowns, unique.  Meanwhile the *audience* on the other
side of the "wall" are themselves not in the "play" at all.)]

         [L. Swilley]

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Cavendish Conference Summer 2003

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2139  Monday, 28 October 2002

From:           James Fitzmaurice <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 25 Oct 2002 08:55:30 -0700
Subject:        Cavendish Conference Summer 2003

SHAKSPER List Members --

Following requests from several quarters, the deadline for abstracts for
the Margaret Cavendish Conference has been EXTENDED TO 1ST DECEMBER
2002.

Jim Fitzmaurice

CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT AND CALL FOR PAPERS

The Margaret Cavendish Society is pleased to announce the details of
its  next International Conference:

Chester College, Chester, UK
17-20 July 2003

20-minute papers are invited on any topic related to the core theme of
the  conference:

MARGARET CAVENDISH AND HER CONTEXTS

Abstracts of no more than 400 words are to be emailed to the conference
co-organiser, Emma Rees, at E.Rees@ chester.ac.uk, or by post to her at
Chester College, Parkgate Road, Chester, CH1 4BJ, UK. For further
conference information, please check the Society webpage
(www.marcav.org.uk) regularly, or contact Emma.

Deadline for abstracts: 1 November 2002

Selected conference papers will be published in 'Early Modern Literary
Studies' by conference co-organiser Lisa Hopkins. Plenary speakers are
Sara Mendelson (McMaster), and Michael Brennan (Leeds). We are also
delighted to be able to stage a live performance of 'The Convent of
Pleasure' by conference co-organiser Gweno Williams' Margaret Cavendish
Performance Project.

_______________________________________________________________
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opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
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Re: Desdemona

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2137  Monday, 28 October 2002

[1]     From:   Hadd Judson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 25 Oct 2002 10:16:54 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2132 Re: Desdemona

[2]     From:   Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 25 Oct 2002 13:33:41 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 13.2127 Desdemona

[3]     From:   David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 26 Oct 2002 14:45:18 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2132 Re: Desdemona


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hadd Judson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 25 Oct 2002 10:16:54 -0400
Subject: 13.2132 Re: Desdemona
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2132 Re: Desdemona

Hello,

In reference to >>"[d] many were interested in Desdemona's age / freedom
/ cultural status:<< : Most children, and most adults, today are not
aware that until recently children did not have the status they have
today.  The care and freedom that children today would be a novel idea
to Desdemona's father or any other parent at that time period.  You have
to explain that  children were chattel and property to be used and not
enjoyed in and of themselves as children.

Hadd Judson

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 25 Oct 2002 13:33:41 -0400
Subject: Desdemona
Comment:        SHK 13.2127 Desdemona

Dear Stuart Manger,

You could start by discouraging your 16 year-olds from reducing one form
of drama to another. Indeed, you could ask them to consider why, in
matters like this, they are usually urged, often by their teachers, to
reach so confidently for the wrong end of the stick.  'Othello' is not
much concerned with psychological realism. As with most of Shakespeare's
plays, if you impose that sort of requirement, you risk turning it into
the sort of soap opera that our society seems anxious to endorse. In
truth, the play operates far more effectively in a non-realistic,
emblematic, or, to use Brecht's term, 'epic' mode. Tell them, since
no-one else will, that art isn't inevitably, nor has it always been,
concerned with chatter about 'personality',  'motivation' and (dread
word) 'character, however much 16 year-olds would like it (and
everything else) to be. Othello is about much more important matters
such as political and social structures, war, power, the construction
and dissolution, at times of intense pressure, of notions of race,
class, sexuality, and family relationships. You might even ask them to
ponder why their education wants to inhibit their thinking about such
things. Then duck.

T. Hawkes

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 26 Oct 2002 14:45:18 -0400
Subject: 13.2132 Re: Desdemona
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2132 Re: Desdemona

>"many were interested in Desdemona's age / freedom / cultural
>status: children these days find her virtual imprisonment by Brabantio
>almost incredible. How, they say, could young girls hope to meet
>eligible men, and indeed had not Othello achieved exactly that tacit
>imprimatur from her father through his apparently repeated invitations
>to Othello?"

For a fuller look at genteel courtship customs see *Romeo and Juliet,*
*Love's Labours Lost,* and *Much Ado About Nothing*.  In town, young
women could meet eligible men at dinners and parties, which usually
included dancing but also opportunities for quiet conversation; in the
country, there were walks, in a garden or abroad, and hunting, involving
both neighbors who had come over for the evening or day and house party
guests invited for longer visits.  It is true, of course, that because
marriage among people of substantial property had economic and political
implications, fathers (and guardians, too) sought to insure that their
children married spouses of whom they approved-consider not only
Brabantio and Capulet but also Baptista and Vincentio in *Shrew*,
Portia's dead father and Shylock in *Merchant*, Leonato in *Much Ado*,
Lear, and  Prospero in *Tempest*, among others.  And were equally
concerned to avoid clandestine marriages-like that of Othello and
Desdemona-with unsuitable partners.

Matrimonially,
David Evett

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

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